Shanghai to boost living standards of city's poor

By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-08-16 07:20

SHANGHAI: Measures to improve the living standards of the city's poor are on the way, Mayor Han Zheng said yesterday in a government report to the legislature.

"Shanghai has implemented a slew of social security policies in the first six months of this year, and will extend coverage to a wider population," Han said.

Pension, subsidy to the poor, and the minimum wage will be increased and more poor families will be given better homes.

Han said subsidy to the poor will be increased from 320 yuan ($46) per month to 350 yuan per month, and from 2,560 yuan to 2,800 yuan a year. The minimum monthly salary will be increased from 750 yuan to 840 yuan.

Families whose per capita income is under 320 yuan and living in a space under 7 sq m will be compensated 480 yuan to 1,000 yuan, depending on their financial circumstances. About 80,000 families in the city have improved their living space through the compensation.

"We will increase the threshold from 320 yuan to 500 yuan to cover more families," Han said. Under a guideline from the State Council to improve its medical care system, Shanghai will include all residents in to the system.

"Shanghai has maintained healthy development in the first six months of this year ... but there are also challenges ahead.

"And improving the living standards of people in Shanghai is one of the most important," Han said.

He said the municipal government is trying to solve the difficulties caused by soaring prices in staple and non-staple food.

"We have to make sure the price rises do not affect the lives of the poor," he said.

Han also said it is vital to balance economic development with energy saving and pollution reduction.

The standing committee of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress is reviewing an amendment to the anti- pollution law and will vote on Friday. Stricter rules against vehicle emissions are being considered.

(China Daily 08/16/2007 page4)

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